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Celtic Christianity

(8 Posts)
ionesmum Sat 29-Jan-05 22:22:00

I thought I'd start a thread on this subject as it's one close to my heart. Does anyone have any experiences of Celtic Christianity, or thoughts about it?

gothicmama Sat 29-Jan-05 22:41:25

not really to sure about it - am I right in thinking it stems from a mix of pagan nd christian beliefs

ionesmum Sat 29-Jan-05 22:50:45

Hi gothicmama

Celtic Christianity comes from the early British church before the arrival of Catholicism. Its saints are people like Brigid, Columba and Aidan. It's not pagan at all, in fact one of its striking features is how Trinitarian it is (although some of its saints' stories and sacred sites have pagan connotations - but then do most early saints and sites).

Gotta go - dd2 is awake - will post more later!

Snugs Sat 29-Jan-05 23:38:56

I think Celtic Christianity is closer to Pagan roots than any other form of Christianity.

In the early Celtic Church, they held true to the old festivals - Samhain and Imbolc for example - whereas the Christian Church in general did its best to obliterate the old ways. A lot of druidic tradition was incorporated into the Celtic Church.

Many Pagan believes are trinitarain (though obviously not the Christian trinity).

jabberwocky Sun 30-Jan-05 03:54:49

One of the reasons we named ds Aiden was because of St. Aidens of Ferns. I consider myself Pagan but remain very interested in Christianity in general and early/Gnostic Christianity in particular.

jabberwocky Sun 30-Jan-05 03:55:16

That's "St. Aiden of Ferns"

jabberwocky Sun 30-Jan-05 20:16:51


ionesmum Sun 30-Jan-05 20:53:13

Thanks for all your comments so far.

Yes the early Celtic church did incorporate a lot of paganism into it - but then that is hardly surprising given when and where it was founded, and it isn't unique in Christianity by any means.

The modern Celtic movement, as exemplifed by the Iona Community or the Community of Aidan and Hilda, for example, is certainly very Christian - in fact, many of its most well-known adherents are ordained priests, such as David Adam, John Bell and Ray Simpson. Their religious communities are based on the old Celtic monasteries that were places where whole families lived, rather than celibates of one sex or another. The modern communities reflect this, and anyone can join if they are committed enough, and live their life according to vows that fit in with their daily life.

There are also some really beautiful new Celtic liturgies being produced .

I found Celtic Christianity at a time when I was really struggling, I've always been a Christian and although I knew I needed to find a way of celebrating my faith I never thought I'd find anywhere. The two big things for me were discovering a type of Christianity that is in awe of the natural world, and one where women are treated as equal to men. Through studying it I became aware of the Celtic Christian way of rooting faith where you are, and joined my local Anglican church. Sometimes it is a struggle, given the way the church tears itself apart over non-issues like sexuality and gender, but it is where I belong, and I can weave it into a Celtic pattern.

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